Use Caution When Comparing Your Immigration Application To Others


I see a lot of people comparing their Canada immigration applications to others who have completed the process or who are about to complete the process.

These folks are often concerned because their application is progressing in the same fashion as somebody else who is also applying in the same category.

You should use caution when comparing your application to other people’s applications.

Although on the surface, it may appear that your application is identical to another person’s application, there are always differences, and these differences will always affect processing times.

For example, let’s take two applications under the Federal Skilled Worker category, both applying through the Canadian Consulate General in Buffalo, New York. Let’s assume the occupations are the same as well.

One application is processed in 10 months, while the other application continues to linger for 14 months. The applicant with the 14 month application is distressed, certain there is something terrible happening to his or her application.

However, even small differences can lead to different processing times.

From Buffalo, applications are often sent to Los Angeles, Detroit and Seattle for further processing, and each of these offices will process at a different rate.

Perhaps one application has step-children, and the other does not. An application with step-children always takes longer, as issues with the remaining biological parent must be worked through.

Perhaps one application has clear (legible) and complete evidence, whereas the other application has some details missing, the copies are difficult to read, and the facts are more complex.

Perhaps one applicant paid the right of permanent resident fee early, and the other applicant waited until much later to pay the fee (which means a slightly longer processing time).

In other words, there can be a myriad of factors that will cause two seemingly identical applications to be processed at much different rates.

Several years ago I had a client who called me quite agitated. He had been speaking to an individual he met on a plane. This individual was the same age and nationality as his wife. She said she had applied through a work study program to gain quick access to Canada, and she told him his lawyer should have suggested that route as well.

I explained to the client that yes, a work study program was available to citizens of that country. However, married individuals with children did not qualify for the program. As such, that program was not an option for his wife.

He apologized and quickly ended the conversation.

This story illustrates the need to exercise caution when comparing your immigration application or options with other people’s, as there are so many factors that can affect how you proceed and at what rate your immigration proceeds.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile